Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mock Trial à l' école

On May 18th, after studying persuasive writing and debate in English class, we were lucky to have an attorney, Chris MacLean, visit the 4-8th graders to talk about his job and how he uses debate in it. He specializes in criminal defense and family law. The presentation was informative and interesting, and the students had a great time listening and asking questions, which Chris was happy to answer.

For over a month, two of the students, in 6th and 8th grade, had been learning to debate in English class. They did a few debates opposing each other, but to end the unit, they collaborated on a final debate against the visiting lawyer. On the day of his visit, as the debate started, they revealed to him what the debate topic was. For while they had spent two weeks preparing, he did not yet know the topic, or what side he would argue. The topic, selected by the students, was "School Vouchers Should be Allowed." Chris was to argue the opposition, that is, why school vouchers shouldn't be allowed.

Everyone had fun and all the speeches, both prepared and not, were very well done. Each person made a five minute speech and a rebuttal. The Great Debate was filmed, which was much appreciated by all. The exciting afternoon finished with a short reception in the office with delicious chocolate cake. Chris talked a bit to the students about Mock Trial, for he has served as attorney sponsor at his local high school. Thanks to everyone involved!

Respectfully submitted by the 8th grade participant